COMMENTARY | Good news on the organ donor move by Facebook. An estimated 113,115 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ donation, and tens of thousands more await tissue, bone or cornea transplants. With its 900 million users worldwide, how wonderfully logical it is for Facebook to support organ donations via a new status update.
Last spring, I received a chain email from Florida, sent by a friend of a friend who knew a leukemia patient needing a perfect living match for bone marrow. The family prepaid for testing kits to be sent from a lab in Oregon and on to Minnesota's Mayo Clinic at $175 each. In response to this family's email campaign, I was one of 350 people to volunteer; all that was required was a cheek swab, a signature and a drop off at UPS. But, the family's outlay of $61,250 for testing kits to find a needle in a haystack is scary and the email campaign just took too long.
When Facebook announced how to add organ donor status update in partnership with Donate Life America, it heightened awareness for organ donations and living donors. Facebook is all about sharing stories, photos and videos. The sharing of personal stories and visuals about lives saved is sure to have a powerful, positive impact.
In 2011, the California Department of Motor Vehicles indicated that nationwide 100 million had signed on as donors in their own states. Facebook has an estimated 180 million users in the U.S. Clearly, these big ideas make a difference. Facebook fans should note that while the DMV consent is legally recognized, Facebook status is a gesture, so registering with one's state and making family members aware is important as well.